When Molly was born a little over three years ago, we were shocked to learn that she was diagnosed with Down syndrome. There were no warning signs and no prior family history – it was a complete surprise to all of us.
While we were excited about Molly’s arrival, we were also very unsure of what the future would hold for her future and our family’s future. Besides the great support system with family and friends, I found myself finding comfort and support in books.
Last week, as I was cleaning out my bookshelf I found all of the books that gave me hope and strength as we started our journey into the world of Down syndrome. Just seeing those books took me back to a dark place, but I was reminded of how far I’ve grown as a person and how much we’ve learned as a family.
A few days ago, I learned about a new mom just starting down a similar path as mine with her newborn daughter. I instantly knew where those books of hope belonged – so I mailed them to her. My wish is that those books provide strength and hope to her just as they did to me.
Here’s a look at the books –
Gifts: Mothers Reflect on How Children with Down Syndrome Enrich Their Lives – I read this book cover to cover… and cried the entire time. It’s real life stories written by moms about their child and journey in the world of Down syndrome. It’s a book that made me realize I was not alone.
Gifts 2: How People with Down Syndrome Enrich the World – This book also needs a ’tissue alert’ as family members and everyday people share stories about how people with Down syndrome have brightened their worlds. These short essays are heartwarming and offer stories of acceptance and live.
Babies with Down Syndrome: A New Parents’ Guide – I like to think of this book as a “What to Expect When Your Expecting” book for mothers of children with Down syndrome. Reading this book was at times a tough read about the road that was ahead for Molly, but I learned an incredible amount of information from it. As someone with no knowledge of Down syndrome, this book really explained the delays and overall areas of concern.
Gross Motors Skills in Children with Down Syndrome: A Guide for Parents and Professionals (Topics in Down Syndrome) – Some may see this book as too technical and scientific because it’s written from a professional point of view, I found it helpful in learning ways to help Molly grow and exercise too.
Road Map to Holland: How I Found My Way Through My Son’s First Two Years With Down Syndrome – Written by a special needs mom, this story is widely known through the special needs community. And like the others, it’s a ’tissue alert’ book that taught me acceptance and that the dark/sad feelings I had were normal.
Have you read any of these books?
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